Canada Golden Rod (Solidago canadensis) – OUT

Canada Golden Rod (Solidago canadensis)
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Canada Goldenrod

Canada Goldenrod

Canada Golden Rod (Solidago canadensis) is a hardy tenacious plant that is easily recognized by its golden yellow inflorescence with hundreds of small capitula. Canada Golden Rod is typically a short-day plant that blooms in the late summer and early fall and producing larger showy heads and flower clusters than most Goldenrod species. Goldenrod is considered native to the United States of America. In North America there are some 100 varieties of this plant because they are able to cross-pollinate. As such the properties of all goldenrod species are somewhat similar. Canada Goldenrod will generally grow to a height of between 2-6ft. Goldenrod only began gaining acceptance in American gardening (other than in wildflower gardens) during the 1980s.  While it is generally golden yellow in color, it can have cream-colored or white rays.  These brightly colored flowers attract color-sensitive insects including beetles like ladybirds, lacewings as well as hoverflies when grown in the garden.  As these insects feed on other insects they’ll help control insect pests inside your garden thus benefiting all your plants. This makes Goldenrod an excellent companion plant. Goldenrod is generally found in open fields, meadows, prairies, savannas and forest margins. It thrives in well-drained, moisture-retentive soil in sun or partial shade it may reach heights anywhere from two to seven feet, depending upon the geographic location and climate. They are a winter hardy plant and will continue to make their appearance year after year. Goldenrod inflorescence is 2-4 inch open spreading cluster with the heads mostly along one side the fruit is a short-hairy dry seed.  The leaf tends to be narrow, rough and scratchy, has points at both ends, no stalk, ordinarily the same size, sharply toothed, and 3-veined. Another plus is that Goldenrods are drought-resistant and need little in the way of supplemental watering once established.  It is best to divide Goldenrods in late spring or early summer so they flower before it frosts. Goldenrod contains saponins, essential oil, bitter principle, tannins, flavonoids. and has been used both in America and Europe as a remedy for a variety of ailments including; colds and flu, bladder inflammation, digestive problems, kidney stones, sore throats/laryngitis, fatigue, urinary tract infections hay fever and allergies. The leaves can be used as a topical application: as a wash or compress for wounds, headaches and rheumatism, as a douche for yeast infections, as a poultice for bee stings, as a hair rinse for blond hair and as a bath herb for facial steams. It’s interesting to note that inventor Thomas Edison undertook some rubber producing experiments with Goldenrod which contains rubber naturally. Edison developed a process involving fertilization and cultivation that maximized the plant’s rubber content resulting in a 12-foot high plants containing upwards of 12% rubber. Even the car Henry Ford gave to Edison had Goldenrod rubber tires. Despite producing a resilient and long lasting rubber and actually turning his research to the US government just before his death Edison’s Goldenrod rubber production never passed the experimental stage. In sum, Goldenrod provides an easy to grow late-season plant for gardeners in search of reliable fall color. It can be used to treat a wide variety of aliments and is an ideal companion plant that not only attracts insects that are beneficial to your garden but these insects eat those that can damage plants. [TABLE=55]

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